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Salvation Army ringing bells ... and the alarm

Posted November 25, 2008

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— The sound of ringing bells is synonymous with the Salvation Army. Beginning Tuesday, the organization is also sounding an alarm.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker tossed a ceremonial coin into the kettle at noon for the kickoff kettle drive. This season, the need is so great that the kettles can’t wait, Salvation Army officials said.

“The sound of a bell lasts two seconds, but we have 12 months of the year that we provide services,” said spokeswoman Paige Bagwell. “So the bell ringing that only happens at Christmas literally has to last us 12 months a year.”

Right when the need is highest, donations are down, officials said. Demand for the organization’s help is up 30 to 35 percent this year. Donations are down 10 percent, officials said.

The Salvation Army has not cut services, but officials said they are afraid it might come to that.

Bell-ringer Tom Brooks said he has seen many different kinds of people stop by his kettle to donate in the past. He’s hoping to see more this year, he said.

“Over the years, I’ve had so many former people who’ve been helped come by and tell us, ‘I was the one who was the recipient, and I’m doing good now. And I’m bringing some money in, and I’m going to donate to the Salvation Army,’” Brooks said.


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  • OALA Nov 25, 2008

    I won't donate to any charities. Simply put I will use my money to help people I know need it. I am tired of seeing people abuse the system. You want to help out- donate food to your local food bank, or help serve meals to homeless people. There is so much you can do, without having to give money to organizations.

  • seeingthru Nov 25, 2008

    It's a shame but the dollars add up, we used to donate to several charities but have had to stop as we struggle with bills, groceries, pay freeze etc

  • TheAdmiral Nov 25, 2008

    I think it is funny that it is the same attitude of not caring that has infiltrated the school system, but not the same attitude of paying your school taxes has not.

    It is amazing that just because you can't get a itemized list of where every penny of yours goes that you put provisions on your giving.

    Has society gotten so petty that you can't spare a dollar and not worry about it? Please. You should be angered at the United Way who stopped distributing monies to faith based organizations and other organizations because they refuse to sign the "PC" doctrine basically saying that no one has a right to restrict membership.

    They did it to several organizations because, like many they do background checks on those who will be working with kids.

    So... Let me ask you. Would you rather someone who has not been convicted of pedophilia working with your kids? Then why fight against it.

    If you fight against it - you green light dropping your kids off at the local molester.

  • ChristaS Nov 25, 2008

    I think that legitimate charities are helpful to some people; most are skimmers, though, and little money actually goes to help people who need it. I do get tired of being made to feel guilty in front of a store if I don't give going and coming - I'm in just as bad of shape as the folks getting the charity but I don't have a chance at getting any of it. I have to work at a crummy job for crummy pay and still get nothing "free."

  • THANOS Nov 25, 2008

    The single greatest thing you can do to help mankind in its time of need is to stop breeding. I refuse to give to a charity that helps human beings, nor would I accept money from one. There are too many humans on this planet as it is.

    You want do something to better this world? Don't have a kid.

  • ncsudan Nov 25, 2008

    I don't give to the Salvation Army. They can ring their bell's all they want, they will not see a penny of my money.

  • mrtwinturbo Nov 25, 2008

    I find those Bells most annoying

  • bs101fly Nov 25, 2008

    hey, we're all hurting.
    let 'em get in line for a bailout!

  • SomethingClever Nov 25, 2008

    I'd rather donate to the Salvation Army than that organization that kicked the guy wearing a turban out of their office any day.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Nov 25, 2008

    I used to work for the Salvation Army. All funds collected int eh kettle drive stay within that local Salvation Army's boundaries. Any national donations comes from the national office only. Local offices or "corps" receive little funding from the national organization. The money collected in the buckets is kept local. If you give in Raleigh, it stays in Wake County. The Durham Salvation Army serves Durham, Person, and Orange Counties.